KOEMS two and three

After all the fanfare and hyperbole…

HERE ARE the first two KOEMS that mysteriously appeared during my unscheduled, bed-bound, six-week sabbatical, before I had any idea of what they were or what they wanted to be.

I still have no idea where they came from. Or whether such silliness has any value in world such as ours. But, here we go anyway…

Two more to come next week.

If you like them, share them. And, please encourage your friends to subscribe at BodhiBill.com.

re: Introducing KOEMS

And celebrating my tenth anniversary as a cancer dancer.

WHAT an unlikely journey this has been. Ten years ago I was diagnosed, much to my surprise, with stage-three, highly-aggressive bladder cancer. The odds were fifty-fifty. My own sense was I would not survive. That I did is a miracle. Why I did, I have no idea.

2008. Recovering from cancer surgery. With no particular place to go.

But for the first six weeks post surgery, I was bed bound at home—remarkably pain free, but bored—when these curious rhymes started assembling themselves in my head out of thin air. I wrote them down. They kept coming. At the end of my recovery I had a book’s worth. Perhaps even more remarkable, none showed up after that. The collection was complete.

I split the words…to come up with KOEMS.

Next, I needed to figure out a title. No help from the muse on that. But, I noticed the verses seemed to be a hybrid of a puzzling zen KOAN and a whimsical nursery rhyme POEM, so I split the words and set the halves together to come up with KOEMS. Seemed to fit. Then I asked a dear friend, Sally Pierone, to do the illustrations and voila, I had the makings of a pocket poetry book.

I printed 40 copies and gave them to friends. Now it’s ten years later. Technology has evolved. Seems a good time to share a virtual version with the world. So here’s the introduction to the reformatted edition.

I’ll be following with the series, one KOEM at a time, over the next year. The first sets the stage for what is to come.

In total, there are 30 KOEMS in the series. Except for the first and last, which did not appear exactly at the beginning or end of the process but were clearly the opening and closing KOEMS, they will be uploaded in the order they appeared to me.


The Journey So Far…

Walk to Paradise Garden | W. Eugene Smith | 1946

How is this sonic expedition for you?

AFTER two singles released and a political video satire on the side, I’m checking in to see how this is going so far? It’s all new for me and the digital metrics are impersonal, e.g.: this many views; that many likes; maybe a few shares.

According to the data, my political satire was a hit bringing in over 4,000 views and 60 shares. I anticipated it would do well as our uber-Republican congresswoman is unresponsive and unpopular and the locals have become politically awakened—if not enraged. Timing its release to the Women’s March was pure serendipity, and my cadre of activists handing out 1,500 flyers there didn’t hurt the cause any.

My other songs, so so. Outside of a dedicated group friends that I’m grateful to have (you), new subscriptions are hard to come by. Facebook postings and even paying for boosts don’t seem to move that needle much. Maybe a few new likes. Of course, I knew I was engaging in a nearly impossible dream to begin with:

  • I’m 70 years old, fer gawd’s sake!
  • My  “target demo” of progressive, educated people (primarily women) over 40  has mostly aged out of engaging with new music, let alone buying it.
  • And, nobody buys music anymore anyway, they stream it.
  • Like me, my demo has cocooned, so there are few live venues remaining for an old, unknown singer songwriter to go to.
  • Radio is virtually dead for independent artists.
  • Social media is absurdly oversaturated for everybody. It’s become a firehose connected to a cesspool. Good luck finding a sip of fresh water without getting your face ripped off.
  • And of course, I’m not hip: I don’t play bone rattling rock and roll or rap.

And yet, I want my songs to be heard and think they’re worth hearing. Am I completely delusional? Maybe! If not, and if they are worth hearing, by whom, and where, and how do I reach them? It’s a puzzle, although I’m more than willing to keep at it—I’m only just starting this trek after all.

ANY IDEAS, comments, critiques welcome…